Over the last few years, podcasts have been becoming more and more popular. So, what is a podcast and what is its purpose?

What is a Podcast?

Many people like to listen to podcasts, to listen to a podcast you can hop on a “podcast app” like Spotify to listen to a series of audio episodes focused on a particular topic, theme or subject that a listener can subscribe to and listen to on-demand, whenever and wherever. Podcasts are created by a host on whom you can subscribe to a podcast and listen to who is called a “podcaster” and published on an online hosting service making it accessible to everyone.  Listeners can subscribe to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes are uploaded. (Podcasts can either be Digital audio or video podcasts.

What is a Podcast- Purpose, Length & Frequency

The main purpose of most podcasts is to provide entertainment and information to its listeners and most importantly keep them engaged. A podcast can vary in the length of time it runs per episode, typically a podcast will be between 20-40 minutes but they can run up to 2-3 hours if the podcaster has enough interesting content to fill this time. They can either be daily, weekly or monthly episodes or have no time pattern at all.

How would you make a podcast or use a podcast?

Creating and using a podcast involves several steps from conceptualisation to publishing and promoting. Below is a simplified guideline on how you might create a podcast and utilise it effectively:

Creating and engaging in podcasting requires a structured approach from initial idea generation to publishing and beyond. With many podcasts available on various platforms, standing out amidst the sea of audio shows becomes pivotal. Here’s a guide, now integrating your provided keywords:

What is a Podcast How They Work & The 7 Different Types

Making a Podcast

  1. Concept Development:
    • Selecting a relevant topic is crucial because a podcast is a series of episodes, and you want a theme that can be explored deeply and broadly to keep your series dynamic and engaging.
  2. Content Creation:
    • Your podcast, which in essence is an audio medium, must prioritize sound quality and articulate content. Given that, even if you decide to venture into a video podcast, the auditory experience should never be compromised.
    • Collaboration with experienced podcast producers can enhance your production quality, giving your content a polished and professional aura.
  3. Publishing the Podcast:
    • Choosing the right podcast hosting company is vital to ensure that your series is effectively stored, streamed, and accessed by listeners.

Using a Podcast

  1. Educational/ Informative Tool:
    • A podcast is an audio platform that allows you to share your knowledge, often in a series format, which can span various topics or deep-dive into specific subjects.
  2. Community Building:
    • Developing a podcast network or joining an existing one can amplify your reach and also provide a supportive community of fellow podcasters.
  3. Branding and Marketing:
    • Your podcast series can be a vehicle to establish your brand, especially if you’re able to align yourself with a popular podcast or get featured on platforms where people want to listen to content related to your niche.
  4. Networking:
    • It’s also a pathway to connect with other podcast producers or even create a collective network where you can support and amplify each other’s work.

Additional Notes:

  • Podcast listening apps are myriad and your podcast series should be accessible on multiple platforms where your target audience may usually listen to their favourite podcast.
  • Engage with listeners on various platforms and encourage them to subscribe to your series on their preferred podcast listening app to ensure they never miss an episode.
  • Be mindful that podcasting is not just an audio medium but a community where producers and listeners alike share, learn, and explore topics together in each episode of a podcast series.

Embarking on your podcasting journey can be a fulfilling adventure. With the right balance of quality content, strategic networking, and mindful engagement with listeners, your series can find its place amidst the favourite podcasts of many. So, step into the shoes of a podcast producer, and start creating content that resonates, educates, and entertains your audience.

Would you say Podcasts are free to listen?

Podcasts, widely acclaimed for their accessibility and varied content, indeed raise the question: Are they free to listen? Predominantly, yes! Many podcasts are free and cater to a myriad of interests, expanding across numerous genres to ensure every podcast has something unique to offer to its audience. When you want to listen to podcasts, they can generally be accessed without a paywall, allowing you to delve into a world where numerous topics are explored, stories are told, and a wide array of information is shared, all within your grasp through an app on your phone.

Podcasts are similar to radio in their auditory delivery but present a digital evolution, allowing the audience to engage on-demand, selecting what they want to hear when they want to hear it. As you explore prominent podcast platforms, a podcast search may reveal a universe of content, where podcast insights shape narratives and information is delivered in a meticulous yet relatable manner, resembling an intimate conversation more than a broad broadcast. A podcast that features specific content, whether it be true crime, wellness, business insights, or comedy, provides an accessible platform for listeners to immerse themselves in topics they cherish, share podcast episodes they adore, and continually discover new realms of knowledge and entertainment.

While many podcasts are free, understanding the entire podcast production and distribution process provides further insights into this prevalent medium. Podcasts can be produced by professionals and amateurs alike, as they’re an extraordinarily inclusive medium, giving a platform to voices that might otherwise go unheard. Subsequently, podcasts are distributed through audio files using RSS feeds, enabling creators to share their stories, knowledge, and insights with a potentially global audience. Consequently, when we describe a podcast, we speak of an avenue where stories and experiences are narrated, where information is disseminated, and where the curious mind finds a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment.

Indeed, podcasts are a form of digital media where the listener is granted autonomy, selecting from popular podcast genres and specific series that pique their interest. Hence, everything you need to know about podcasts can be summarized as follows: They are a versatile, inclusive, and predominantly free medium where voices from varied walks of life converge to create a rich tapestry of content, offering listeners not just insights and information, but a community where their interests and curiosities are shared and celebrated.

7 Different Types of Podcasts with Examples

Although all podcasts have a similar purpose they can be delivered in different formats. More on what a podcast is – it has a lot more leeway than radio as it can be on any topic that the podcaster chooses. Let’s take a look at the different types of podcasts there can be and their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Interview on What is a Podcast

This format of podcast is the most popular of all podcast formats. The host or hosts of the podcast interview a guest or guests during the podcast episode. These types of podcasts are typically a discussion on the guest’s personal life and achievements or on an area of expertise.


  • Can reach a larger audience as fans of the guest will listen to your podcast to hear them.
  • Podcast episodes will have a variety of content as all guests will have different experiences.
  • Various viewpoints and ideas are shared.


  • Can be difficult to find guests to interview that will add value to your podcast.
  • Lots of preparation, planning and research goes into interview podcasts.
  • If the guest is interviewed online via Zoom signal issues may occur and quality can be disrupted.

What is a Podcast and what are the Examples?

The Laughs of Your Life with Doireann Garrihy


Doireann Garrihy interviews the most influential people in Ireland about moments in their life surrounding laughter.

The Joe Rogan Experience


Comedian Joe Rogan talks all about life, current events, comedy, politics and many other topics with his wide variety of podcast guests

F1: Beyond The Grid


Tom Clarkson interviews the biggest names in Formula 1 and gives an inside look into the world of F1.

2. Solo/ Monologue on what is a podcast

Solo/Monologue podcasts are podcasts that have just the podcaster speaking by themselves on a topic of interest or just life in general. The host has to be very entertaining and engaging in order to captivate listeners as it is only their voice they will hear. They are a very natural and honest type of podcast.


  • There is very little editing for a solo podcast as it is meant to be real and authentic.
  • Not as much preparing or planning is needed for solo podcasts compared to interviews.
  • Podcaster has full control of content


  • Content can become boring and repetitive.
  • A lot of energy and enthusiasm is needed by the podcaster to keep the listeners engaged.
  • Content and viewpoints are one-sided.

Examples of Solo/Monologue Podcasts

The Sarah Silverman Podcast


Sarah Silverman talks honestly about a variety of topics in her weekly podcast.

Have you heard George’s Podcast


George the Poet talks about inner city life through storytelling and music in this award-winning podcast.

Inner Monologue with Olivia Neill


Influencer Olivia Neill’s weekly podcast gives an unfiltered and honest recount on all things happening in her life.

3. Narrative/ Non-Fiction on what is podcast

Non-Fiction podcasts are podcast episodes that tell a story. This type of podcast is focused on factual accuracy. This type of podcast can have different narratives in each episode or can string together a few episodes to make a series narrative.


  • Stories can be very captivating for listeners.
  • Having the non-fiction story split into episodes can be addictive to listeners who want to finish it.
  • It is factual.


  • Lots of preparing and research must go into the production of the podcast.
  • The host must have good storytelling skills to keep listeners interested.

Examples of Narrative/Non-Fiction Podcasts

Your Own Backyard


Chris Lambert’s true crime documentary podcast told the real-life story of the disappearance of Kristin Smart.

Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen


Josh Dean and Vanessa Grigoriadis tell the true story of the Hollywood Con Queen scam.

The Making Of A Detective


This Irish true crime podcast tells the story of 5 notorious murders in Ireland from the viewpoint of Pat Marry, the detective on the cases at the time.

4. Fictional Storytelling on what is podcast

The name of this type of podcast says exactly what it is. If you are looking for a bit of escapism then this type of podcast is for you which allows you to listen to a tv programme without the visual aspect.


  • There are endless creative options for the host.
  • Fictional stories can be addictive with the right storyline and cliffhangers.
  • Podcaster has control over where story will go.


  • Have to develop story in timely manner and not drag on the story.
  • Sound effects need to be created to add the story which can be time consuming.

Examples of Fictional Storytelling Podcasts



Edith! tells the story of Edith Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson, who took control of the Presidents political affairs after he suffered a stroke and told no one about it. Rosamund Pike stars as Edith Wilson in this comedic scripted podcast.

The Amelia Project


This dark comedy podcast is about a secret agency that offers to fake clients deaths and bring them back with a new identity.

Passenger List


Passenger List won the Best Fiction Podcast at BBC Audio Drama Awards 2020 & 2022. Atlantic Flight 702 disappears when flying between London and New York with 256 passengers on board in this two season drama podcast.

5. Open Conversation Podcast

This type of podcast is a conversation between two or more people about either specific themes or broad topics. Open Conversation Podcasts can work well when the hosts have good chemistry and can keep listeners entertained.


  • Easy to plan and prep
  • Very authentic and honest content


  • If the podcasters are not well-know it can be difficult to build a fan base.
  • The hosts have to have a good dynamic and work well together.

Examples of Open Conversation Podcasts

My Therapist Ghosted Me


Vogue Williams and Joanne McNally give advice and their honest opinions on topics and issues.

The 2 Johnnies Podcast


The Irish comedy duo take on the big issues of the week in their weekly podcast.

Red Table Talk


Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris have open and honest conversations about the most provocative topics.

6. Educational Podcast

This type of podcast is great for people who want to learn on the go. Listeners can gain knowledge about a variety of topics of their choice from learning a new language to learning about the history of the Ancient Romans.


  • If an expert on a certain topic less research will be needed as knowledge is at hand.
  • Easier and less preparation needed for an audio educational video than a visual educational video.


  • Have to consider learning objectives.
  • There is a high bar set for educational podcasts as quality of information should be exceptional.

Examples of Educational Podcasts

Language podcasts


Educational Podcasts by Duolingo and Coffee Break teach a wide variety of languages.

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos


Dr. Laurie alongside experts and researchers in psychology and behavioral science explores the science behind being happy.

The David McWilliams Podcast


David McWilliams breaks down the world of economics in an easy and accessible way in his weekly educational podcast.

7. Repurposed Content Podcast

 A repurposed content podcast is a tv show or radio show that has been reformatted and reused for a podcast. These type of podcasts are often used by News shows who repurpose their content in audio, visual and print to reach a large audience.


  • Reaches a larger audience
  • If a podcaster has no new content they can repurpose old content.


  • Content can be boring if a listener has heard it before.
  • The content may not suit the platform it is being reformatted for. For example, if the content needs visuals it may not do as well on a podcast.

Examples of Repurposed Content Podcasts

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition


Trevor Noah gives listeners highlights and extended interviews from his show “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on his repurposed content podcast.

TED Radio Hour


TED Radio Hour hosted by Manous Zomorodi explores the big questions in the world today.

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show


The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show gives listeners news, sport, guests, music and the comedy sketch “Gift Grub” in this 2 hour radio show repurposed into a podcast.

What is a Podcast – How Do They Work?

Once recorded podcasts are uploaded onto a podcast hosting platform. A podcaster must then submit their RSS Feed to their podcast directories, which allow their listeners to be able to access and listen to their podcast episodes.

What is a Podcast RSS Feed

RSS feed stands for Really Simple Syndication and it broadcasts audio content over the internet, updating various directories when new content is produced. An RSS feed sends your audio content to your listeners podcast listening platforms.

What is a Podcast Hosting Platform

A podcast hosting platform is a platform that podcasters use in order to host and store the audio files for their podcast. Podcast hosting platforms can be free or paid depending on what the podcaster is looking for.

What is a Podcast Directory

There are many apps that you can listen to your podcasts on. Listeners can subscribe to their favourite podcasts on these apps and be notified when new episodes are released. Here is a list of a few most popular ones.

What is a Podcast: Equipment Required

When beginning a podcast a host will need certain equipment make their podcast. Some equipment is essential in order to make a successful podcast. The three main pieces of equipment needed to create a podcast are a phone or laptop, a microphone and a recording software. You will also need an editing software to edit videos once recorded.

What is a Podcast Genre

We already looked at the different types of podcast formats there can be, so what is a podcast genre? A podcast genre is the theme of a podcast, it gives the listener an idea of what category podcast they are listening to. Some common genres of podcasts are;

  • Comedy
  • True Crime
  • Sports
  • News & Politics
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Health & Wellness
  • Music
  • Society & Culture
  • Business & Technology
  • Games

Can You Get Paid for Podcasts?

Embarking on a new podcast journey and entering the expansive universe of podcasting opens up a realm of possibilities, not only in terms of content creation but also as a potent avenue for income and promoting diverse voices. Once you dive into this universe, you may swiftly realize how pivotal it is to find a podcast that resonates with your interests or sparks a new curiosity within you. It’s imperative to note that a podcast is a digital medium, often flourishing with varied types of content that could range from educational materials to sheer entertainment.

The podcast consumer, a crucial component in the podcasting ecosystem, often uses platforms like Patreon, which is ingeniously utilized by podcasters to monetize their content. How? Podcasters often use a podcast hosting service and share premium content or bonus materials, which their listeners, who download and listen, may access through monthly subscriptions or one-off payments. People listen and opt to pay for content that provides them with value, be it entertainment, information, or a combination thereof. A startling number of consumers have engaged with at least one podcast in the last month, highlighting the medium’s burgeoning popularity.

A podcast might also secure sponsorship from brands, navigating the delicate balance between crafting genuine, heartfelt content and integrating promotional material seamlessly into their episodes. This sponsorship is not confined to any conventional podcast format but spans across various genres and styles, each providing a unique platform for brand promotions. Podcast creators, therefore, walk the tightrope of maintaining authenticity while also ensuring the sponsored podcast content resonates with their audience.

Moreover, podcasts can transcend audio, integrating video files to create a comprehensive, multisensory experience for their audience. The visual component can elevate the podcast cover and material, providing an additional layer of interaction and engagement with the audience. It underlines the notion that podcasts, in essence, are not merely confined to a single format but are a vibrant, dynamic medium capable of moulding into various shapes, sizes, and word podcast structures, adapting, and evolving with technological advancements and consumer preferences.

Now that you know what a podcast is and how they work why not try giving podcasting a go yourself. Read more related ProfileTree articles: Starting a Podcast, Podcasts for your Business

In Conclusion what is a Podcast

In the digital age where content is king, one might often ponder, what is a podcast? Essentially, it is a gateway to a world where audio and visual storytelling meets innovative topics, providing a spectrum of information and entertainment at one’s fingertips. A further dig into what podcasts may unveil its unique, episodic nature, allowing listeners to delve into worlds unexplored at their own pace and convenience.

What is a podcast? it’s an avenue where enthusiasts can become creators, utilising this potent medium to voice their narratives and connect with like-minded individuals or communities.

Understanding what is a podcast in terms of variety, it’s a diverse platform where topics ranging from science to fiction, educational content to comedic sketches, find a home. It’s crucial, as we further immerse ourselves in this digital epoch, to comprehend fully what is a podcast in order to navigate and utilise this powerful medium optimally. This understanding of what is a podcast can significantly enhance our consumption, creation, and sharing of varied content, enabling us to be both informed listeners and innovative creators.

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